Santa and his real reindeer experience at Down at the farm.

In 2012 we paid Down at the farm in Houghton Le Spring a visit to enjoy their Christmas experience. Down at the farm differs from other Christmas farms in that the whole farm is not open. You book a specific time slot and enjoy a 90 minute Christmas experience with a group of 12 other children and your own elf to guide you around activites.

Our experience started with everybody gathering in the outdoor barn to meet Santa's real reindeer. The anticipation really started to build as we waited for our elf.

We didn't have to wait long - soon our elf arrived and introduced himself. He gave everybody a special sticker with their name on and ushered us into the magical Christmas barn.

Our first stop was for all of the children to gather on chairs and help to keep the rabbits and guinea pigs of the farm warm by stroking them and giving them a cuddle. Cute! Make sure you wrap your children up warm in hats and gloves as although the barn is heated, it still does get chilly.

Next stop was a beautifully lit area where we all made our own special snowflake decorations and placed them on the special wishing trees as we closed our eyes and made a wish. This was a lovely and unique idea but it did get a little crowded at times.

Our elf then painted all of the children's faces to turn them into little reindeer's. Our children loved this part.

It was almost time to meet santa but first we all had a turn on Santa's glittery sleigh.

When you book your down at the farm experience you are asked for some special information about your child. While we were waiting to see Santa our elf read his 'naughty or nice' list and amazed our children by knowing a little bit about them all what they would like for Christmas.

Then it was time to meet the main man himself in his cozy living room. Santa told some lovely stories to the children, entertained them with some special magic and called each child up individually for a little chat and to give them a little gift each.

Children could then finish their experience with a bumpy ride around the farm on the barn barrel ride.

My youngest son had just turned 2 when we visited Down at the farm. He did still enjoy it but sometimes it was a little overwhelming and parts probably went over his head. I think the perfect age to visit would be for ages 3-7 years.

Our experience lasted exactly 90 minutes. I would recommend this farm as it was really magical and is something a little bit different. Tickets this year cost £10.50 for children and £5.50 per adults. Visit Down at the farm's website to book.


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